Played hockey with ‘Punch Line’ Lach

From our April 2012 issue

By Harold Volen – Burnaby, B.C.

The spring hockey playoffs take me back to Saskatchewan, and Weyburn in particular. We had the Beavers senior hockey team that did a good job in the 1930s. Names I remember on forward line were Brady, Loree and Cousins, and in goal was Andy Young.

One year they won the South Saskatchewan championship and in late spring, went to Prince Albert to play the Mintos. Our team was light and fast. The Mintos were big and strong.

The natural ice was slushy and the Mintos smashed their way through the slush and beat us – winning the Saskatchewan championship. Thank goodness for artificial ice now!

One season, 1937-38, we had Elmer Lach (born in Nokomis, Sask.) who later joined the Montreal Canadiens in 1940. Lach was a member of the legendary ‘Punch line’ with Maurice (Rocket) Richard and Toe Blake.

I especially remember Merlin (Dutch) Evers, who tried so hard to get on the Beavers team that he got his brother to kick him in the shins and he’d run a mile before breakfast. It worked and he got on the team. I watched him with the New Westminster Royals.

Sadly, on a trip to Seattle for a game, his bus hit a bridge abutment and Evers died. He tried so hard and was a very good player. His family lived in Goodwater, Sask.

‘The Punch Line’ – Montreal Canadians line mates Maurice (Rocket) Richard, Elmer Lach, and Toe Blake.

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